How Highschool Accidentally Taught me to Improve Website SEO and Readability

You'll never guess how I learned to write well organized, SEO optimized blog posts and webpages. In fact, it wasn't even until I went through an intensive SEO training that I realized my instinctual way of tackling content was based on a foundation that search engines love.

Do you remember note-taking? I was a diligent, almost verbatim note-taker in school (and honestly in meetings too). I realized early in my education that I was a visual learner, so if I wanted to retain anything I learned in class, I would have to write it down. As my teacher/professor progressed through a long lecture, I took everything and organized it in what seemed like the most logical fashion.

My notes were built on the outline of the class:

  • Page one always had the title of the lecture or main idea.

  • From there subsequent topic headings, bullet points, and images (I doodle) followed a natural progression.

  • These points must numerically relate to the topic or sub-topic that proceeded.

This organization system is the core of website content 101.

A Quick Primer on Header Tags

There are three main header tags most pages could use. All pages should have the H1 tag, which should contain the primary keyword for the page and describe the topic of that page.

The H2 tag will be a sub-topic of your page and contain any secondary keywords you want to use. If you use H3 it should support the H2 directly above it. This is how you are signaling to your reader, and to Google, that the specific content is all related to one idea. If you need help remembering this, use a bulleted list from any toolbar, and see how it flows down the page.

The Untapped Use of Proper Header Tags

In reviewing and optimizing content for blogs, websites, and beyond, I've noticed a common flaw on many sites. The improper use or consideration of header tags. Some websites use multiple H1s on a single page (this is a no-no).

Similarly, they seem more concerned with the header font than the relationship between the header tags as a whole.

Think of it as constructing an argument, with your most important points and sub-points going down the page in a natural order. This is great not only for SEO but also for organizing your thoughts and speaking to your audience in a clear way. The sub-heads provide a roadmap to your reader with natural stops along the way.

Here's a quick example of how I might structure an argument for a blog post with a primary longtail keyword "dogs are the best pet." Secondary keywords are in the topic headers but also content that builds on the idea.

Building your content based on this roadmap ensures you are telling a coherent story, which will make sure your audience sticks around, which is the ultimate goal for conversion.

Working with a Professional

If this practice doesn't come naturally to you, or you don't have the time, you should definitely hire a content writer!

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